• work-life-balanceFirms neglect to address the relationship between their employees’ work and personal lives
  • Where work-life balance is not supported, one in four employees plan to leave within the next two years
  • A third of UK employees believe they are expected to do an unsustainable amount of work

Employees in the UK believe that their organisation fails to support them in striking a balance between work and their personal life, according to new research from global management consultancy, Hay Group.

Almost two fifths (39 per cent) of employees feel that their professional and domestic lives are not in equilibrium. In addition, only half (51 per cent) perceive that their employer is sensitive to the relationship between work and home –¬ a 6 per cent drop in just one year.

The research is drawn from Hay Group’s global employee opinion database which is comprised of more than 600,000 employees in the UK.

Feeling the strain

At the same time as dissatisfaction with work-life balance is on the rise, organisations continue to ask their employees to ‘do more with less’.

Last year, just half (50 per cent) of employees reported that there were enough people available in their department to complete the work required, falling three per cent since 2011.

As a result, almost a third (31 per cent) of employees do not think the amount of work expected of them is reasonable.

Mark Royal, Senior Principal, Hay Group Insight comments: “UK employees are working longer hours with busier schedules than ever before. Introducing tactics such as telecommuting or flexible working do help improve engagement and commitment to stay with an employer, but will not be enough to successfully address mounting concerns about workload and poor work-life balance. Organisations must develop solutions to enable their workforce, and think strategically about which key roles need to be supplemented from the outside.

“Employers who don’t support work-life balance should prepare to see their high performing and high potential employees either burn out or walk out.”

Tipping the balance

In those organisations across the world that do not support a positive work-life balance, more than a quarter (27 per cent) of employees plan to leave their company within the next two years.

By contrast, in companies that support employees in achieving a reasonable balance between their work and personal lives, only 17 per cent of employees are looking for opportunities elsewhere.

Mark adds: “Organisations must avoid concerns regarding work and life acting as that single grain of rice: tipping the balance for a significant proportion of their workforce.”


Data for this research is drawn from the global employee opinion database compiled by Hay Group Insight. Updated annually, the database is comprised of responses from more than 5 million employees working in over 400 organisations worldwide, representing a broad cross-section of industries and sectors.